*The accumulation and exhibition of wealth have become reality show staples — from “Million Dollar Listing” to “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” to any of the “Housewives” franchises.
But what about when the stars of the show are professed men of God?
NeNe “I’m Rich B**ch” Leakes of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” isn’t expected to follow what Jesus says in the Bible about flaunting wealth. But the six clergymen of Oxygen’s “Preachers of LA” are held to a…higher standard, if you will. And critics of the show say the cast members are falling short by using their pulpits to amass fame and fortune while putting God second.
In defending their opulent lifestyles, cast members have previously pointed to scripture supporting the “prosperity gospel,” a Christian philosophy that suggests a close adherence to the Word will lead to wealth. As critics and other black pastors began bashing the first season, Bishop Clarence McClendon took to YouTube quoting 3 John 1:2: “The Bible says I wish above all things that you would prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.”
Bishop Ron Gibson, the ex-gang member who famously said in season one, “P. Diddy, Jay Z, they’re not the only ones who should be driving Ferraris and living in large houses,” is one of the preachers whose lavish lifestyle is emphasized in the show.
Speaking exclusively to EURweb, Gibson and co-star Pastor Wayne Chaney address the criticism head on. Pastor Chaney said he loves to see Bishop Ron “being blessed the way he’s been blessed,” with his cars and his home.
“Every young man growing up played with Hot Wheels,” he said. “In the back of his mind was the fantasy of one day, I [can] grow up and maybe drive a nice or fancy car, whether they admit it or not. Often times we suppress that later in life, but the truth of the matter is, why should that dream not become a reality because we decided to live our lives to serve God and help people?”
Bishop Gibson, a former gang member who likes his guns, appeared locked and loaded for the question during NBC Universal’s TCA party Monday night in Hollywood. Below, he explains that he is part of the Abrahamic covenant through Jesus Christ. Like McClendon, Gibson also quotes 3 John 1:2, then adds: “God said I’ll get the money to you, if I can get the money through you.”
Listen to Gibson (speaks first) and Chaney below:
Season 2 of “Preachers of LA” premieres Aug. 20 at 10 p.m. on Oxygen. Watch the trailer below: